Tag Archives: Public health

Asia Today: The virus arrives in the previously clean Marshall Islands | Instant News

The Marshall Islands have reported their first cases of the coronavirus after two people flying from Hawaii to a US military base tested positive

The tiny Pacific nation is among the last places in the world to have no reported cases of the virus.

The Office of the Chief Secretary said in a statement that a 35-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man had tested positive this week after flying direct from Honolulu to the base on Kwajalein Atoll.

The office said the two cases were not linked, the two people remained in quarantine, and there was no possibility of community transmission.

The office asked people to remain calm and said all government business and operations would proceed as normal.

Home to some 78,000 people, the Marshall Islands maintain close military and civilian ties with the US under free association ties.

Other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– The number of confirmed coronavirus victims in India surpasses 8 million with daily cases dropping to their lowest level this week. The Ministry of Health reported another 49,881 infections in the past 24 hours. The ministry on Thursday also reported 517 additional deaths, bringing the total deaths to 120,527. Life in India is edging back to pre-virus levels with shops, businesses, subways and cinemas reopening. But health experts warn that the Hindu festival season and winter setting could lead to a more localized outbreak.

– Officials in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang believe they have contained the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak. In all of the 23 newly active cases, people had previously tested positive but were not yet showing symptoms, according to the National Health Commission. Thursday is the second day in parallel with testing showing no spread of the virus. Such developments seem to indicate that new infections have been contained, Wang Xijiang, deputy director of the disease prevention and control center in Kashgar Xinjiang prefecture. More than 4.7 million people in Kashgar have been tested.

– Australia has been trying to prevent new coronavirus cases from reaching its shores by barring most of its population from leaving in the first place. The ban poses a grievous burden on its multicultural population, about half of whom were born overseas or have immigrant parents. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held Australia’s travel ban as an example to the world of how to avoid the next severe wave of coronavirus spread by infected citizens while traveling for holidays. But with Australia being one of the countries most successful at containing the spread of the virus, some question how long such a ban can be justified.


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Tabba Heart Institute and IHME work together to improve health | Instant News

PICTURE: THI heart specialists serving heart patients using COVID-19 protection
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Credit: Courtesy of the Tabba Heart Institute

SEATTLE AND KARACHI (28 October 2020) – Tabba Heart Institute (THI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine partner to increase public knowledge and inform cardiovascular health policymakers in Pakistan by collecting and sharing data , leveraging their expertise in health metrics science to provide more accurate estimates of the national and provincial burden of cardiovascular disease in Pakistan.

The THI faculty, a dedicated heart care center in Karachi, will:

  • Provides technical expertise to guide cardiovascular disease estimates at the provincial and national levels of the country in Pakistan,
  • Coordinates data collection efforts through the Institute’s cardiovascular disease registries, and
  • Integrate cardiovascular care into the analysis of IHME heart disease studies.

Faculty and staff at IHME will analyze this data to produce a better estimate of cardiovascular disease in Pakistan and help disseminate the results to stakeholder groups.

“Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death both globally and in Pakistan, surprisingly there is surprisingly little data available on its burden domestically. Therefore, this partnership with THI has the potential to help explain important health differences across several dimensions – age, sex and location, “said Dr. Gregory Roth, who leads cardiovascular disease modeling for the IHME Global Disease Burden Study.

Over the past 20 years, ischemic heart disease has been the leading cause of premature death and overall ill health in Pakistan. Without additional data on this issue, policymakers need more detailed information and comprehensive analysis to make better decisions about allocating resources for preventive care and treatment.

THI will be the first Pakistani organization to produce population-level cardiovascular health estimates for the Sindh Province and across Pakistan.

“We at THI appreciate this collaboration with IHME. THI is committed not only to excellent patient care, but also to leveraging our cardiovascular data to improve public health and research the burden of cardiovascular disease at the population level, “said THI Executive Director Dr. Bashir Hanif.

“There are significant global differences in survival rates for cardiovascular disease. By partnering with THI, we have a great opportunity to extract unique data and provide insightful analysis to better understand cardiovascular health in Pakistan,” said Dr. Roth.

The annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is a systematic and scientific effort to measure the magnitude of the health costs of all major illnesses, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex and population. With more than 5,000 collaborators in nearly 150 countries and territories, the GBD study examines more than 300 diseases and injuries. The estimates generated are used around the world to direct resources, identify gaps in data availability, and focus attention on policy makers, donors and other stakeholders.

“IHME has been working with partners in Pakistan to produce analyzes of GBD at the provincial level over the past two years, but this partnership with THI provides a unique opportunity to illuminate the emergence of non-communicable diseases and help policymakers identify relevant steps in improving cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad of IHME.


Contact: [email protected]

About the Tabba Heart Institute

Tabba Heart Institute (THI) is a heart-specific standalone facility providing acute care and comprehensive outpatient services for adult patients with cardiovascular disease in Karachi, Pakistan. This institution was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization. THI has two satellite centers for outpatient services, one in Karachi and the other in Hyderabad. At THI, our goal is to provide the highest level of cardiac care in a professional and ethical manner. The institutional vision is to become one of the leading regional centers in cardiovascular care and clinical research.

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous, comparable measurements of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME is committed to transparency and making this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about allocating resources to improve population health.

Rejection: AAAS and EurekAlert! is not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing to the institution or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.


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Australia’s second-largest city ended 111 days of virus shutdown | Instant News

MELBOURNE, Australia – Coffee business owner Darren Silverman stopped his van and broke down in tears when he heard on the radio that the Melbourne pandemic would be largely lifted by Wednesday after 111 days.

“The hardships of the journey, when you’ve put 30 years of your life into something suddenly taken with the prospect of not coming back through no fault of your own – I feel like I can be forgiven for stopping and having a bit of a cry to myself,” he said.

According to the Victorian state government, the change in lockdown will allow 6,200 retail shops, 5,800 cafes and restaurants, 1,000 beauty salons and 800 pubs to reopen, impacting 180,000 jobs.

Crowds on city streets – where wearing masks remains mandatory – were thin on Wednesday as Melbourne residents were still restricted from traveling no more than 25 kilometers (16 miles) from home and most city office blocks remained empty working from home. orders continue.

And while there are pedestrians in downtown Bourke Street Mall, it’s also clear from the number of stores now empty that many retail outlets and restaurants have not survived the closure, the second city since the pandemic began.

But many remain reporting record demands from townspeople exhausted by the pandemic, with some restaurants fully booked a month earlier now that they are no longer restricted to take-home.

“People really want to get out, to be able to sit outside at a table and have a cup of coffee or something to eat,” said cafe owner Maria Iatrou. “People are really enjoying it and it’s going to be a bit of a crush over the next few weeks while people get it off their system.”

Andrews refused until Monday, when he announced hours of relaxation after the state recorded no new infections in the past 24 hour period. It is the first time Melbourne has had a day without new infections since June 9 and the milestone is celebrated on social media as Donut Day.

Tuesday is another Donut Day, the first day in a row in Melbourne without new infections since March 5 and 6. Two new cases were reported on Wednesday, but they are infected by known cases and have been isolated.

Andrews thanked the retail and hospitality industry for working closely with his government to reopen safely.

“They know and understand deep down that we all need to be safe from COVID, we all have to follow the rules to protect staff, to protect customers, but also to protect these fragile things that we all build, Andrews said, referring to containment of the virus.

Iatrou said the lockdown was difficult both professionally and personally. The cafe struggles hard with takeout and delivery. To make matters worse, he lost his uncle and godmother to COVID-19 and was unable to attend their funeral due to pandemic restrictions.

They are in the care of the elderly, with most of Victoria’s 819 coronavirus deaths recorded. Only 88 people have died from COVID-19 elsewhere in Australia.

“Unless you’re here, it’s hard to understand what impact this has on you,” Iatrou said of the lockdown. “It is pressure to get through almost every day.”

Mary Poulakis said she was thrilled to have reopened her 35-year high-end clothing boutique on the outskirts of Coburg. He also said there was no way he would comply with the third lock.

“It’s messed up. It’s like a roller coaster. You go up, you go down. You’re open, you’re closed. You are active, you go, “said Poulakis.

“I remain open. I can’t close my door anymore, ”he added.

Silverman, the owner of a coffee business, said he was delighted to be open again not only for business reasons but also for the mental well-being of the staff, some of whom have been self-isolating at home for months.

His business is able to sell wholesale coffee to cafes and online, but he said cafes in the city center even though they are open now will struggle until office workers return.

“We were told that stay-at-home orders in terms of office workers may be in the future, of course in the New Year, which will make life in the CBD for retailers and hospitality very, very difficult,” he said, referring to Melbourne’s central business district.


McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia


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UPDATE 1-UK Vaccine Taskforce Chair says the initial COVID-19 vaccine may not be perfect – The Lancet | Instant News

(Adding details of the chair, background)

Oct 28 (Reuters) – UK Vaccine Task Force Chair Kate Bingham said on Tuesday that the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines are “likely imperfect” and that they “may not work for everyone”.

“However, we did not know that we would ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism,” wrote Bingham in an article published in the medical journal The Lancet. bit.ly/37LEWYA.

“First generation vaccines are likely to be imperfect, and we have to be prepared that they may not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, may not work for everyone or for a long time,” he added.

Bingham wrote that the Vaccines Task Force acknowledged that “many, and possibly all, of these vaccines could fail”, adding the focus is on vaccines that are expected to elicit an immune response in populations over 65 years of age.

He said that global production capacity for vaccines was grossly inadequate for the billions of doses needed and that UK manufacturing capabilities were “equally scarce”.

Earlier on Tuesday, a study by scientists at Imperial College London found that antibodies to the new coronavirus decreased rapidly in the UK population over the summer, suggesting protection after infection may not last long and increasing the likelihood of decreased immunity in society.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that the British government is working on the assumption that the second wave of coronavirus will be more deadly than the first. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Christopher Cushing)


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Protests have raged in Italian cities against COVID-19 restrictions | Instant News

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – Protests raged across Italy on Monday against a new round of government restrictions aimed at curbing the resurgence of the coronavirus, with violence reported in at least two major cities in the north, Milan and Turin.

Witnesses said a number of luxury shops, including a Gucci fashion shop, were ransacked in central Turin as a crowd of young people took to the streets after nightfall, releasing large firecrackers and lighting colored flames.

Police responded with tear gas shots as they tried to restore order in the city, the capital of the rich Piedmont region.

There have also been clashes in Milan, the capital of the neighboring region of Lombardy, an area affected by the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy.

“Freedom, freedom, freedom,” the crowd shouted as they confronted the police downtown.

The Italian government on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close at 6 p.m. and closed public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to try to slow the second wave of coronavirus infections sweeping much of the country.

A number of regions, including Lombardy and Piedmont, also imposed curfews.

Many small businesses, still hurt by the initial national lockdowns in March and April, say the new restrictions could bankrupt them.

While the Italians have adhered to the spring lockdown peacefully, there has been an outright resistance to the renewed restrictions. Protesters took to the streets in a dozen cities on Monday, including Treviso, Trieste, Viareggio, Latina, Rome, Naples, Salerno, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania.

Seeking to ease tensions, the government said it would deliver a package of measures on Tuesday to support businesses hurt by the new restrictions.

Italy, once the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the industrialized world, has been taken over by other countries in Europe including France and Britain. But infection rates have recovered rapidly since early October.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Edited by Bill Berkrot


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